Integrity and health

Integrity – has a two part definition – 1) regarding personal characteristic the aspect of honesty and having values – 2) regarding the physical state of wholeness, the person or substance or nation is complete and undivided.

Currently there is too much division in many areas between groups of people with different beliefs. Race,  religion, science, whatever the difference there is something in common, we share one planet. Infertility is increasing in humans and in many other species. Loss of insects causes a ripple effect up the food chain as plants are not pollinated and other species don’t have adequate food either from the loss of plants or the loss of insects. Infertility treatments are a costly procedure that is becoming common enough that some governments with nationalized health insurance have to decide about paying, which then leads to a question of who deserves the treatments and how many times. Five million dollars is the cost of fertility treatments in some areas of the world and there is no guarantee that it will work. How many treatments to attempt?

My own field of work experience could be described as a fertility expert – not an infertility expert who helps people conceive, instead a counselor who helped people who already had conceived have the healthiest pregnancy possible, or counseled about preparing for a healthy pregnancy for their next child. Something I heard frequently enough to stand out in my memory was something like, “I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, I had just worked really hard to get healthier and had lost weight and was exercising and now here I am pregnant.” Tragedy for many is not being able to conceive even with a variety of interventions. (information and statistics about infertility, Focusing on health first was what seemed a successful method from a retrospective point of view. Tragedy did visit some, who was likely to miscarry? Not typically those who had achieved health first. The last post suggests also that adequate iodine and thyroid function may be part of the answer.

Self respect – confidence and faith in your own abilities and value.

How can I help you,” was recommended as a valuable question to ask for leadership or business. It is helpful in many roles. People don’t want to feel coerced or manipulated and are more likely to accept or participate with plans that they have had a part in making. The flaw in overly depending on the strategy is when people don’t know what they don’t know – if they don’t know about the possibility or value in something new than how can they ask for help with it? Horseless carriages and electric light-bulbs are two inventions that people were initially skeptical about trying. Elevators initially had elevator operators to push the buttons, in part to help people feel safer about riding in the new-fangled contraption, in part because the doors were not automated. A few elevator operators still work in higher price buildings, it adds a level of security as well as a prestige service. (The Benefits of an Elevator Operator).

If I felt that I could help and didn’t I wouldn’t feel good about myself however I can only help within my ability to help and continue to take care of myself. Mothers learn that being sick is no vacation from motherhood.

My goal with writing online and trying a few different website formats is for the purpose of trying to share self care information with those who seek it out. The preventative education prenatal/early childhood program in which was very effective and to me seemed even better than the care I had received from my health insurance covered medical care. Preventative health education takes time that typical medical appointments don’t have to spare. Providing self directed educational resources online can allow adult learners to access the information that they are interested in as they need it, as they develop the interest in seeking it out – answering their own question of “How can I help myself?

The Science of Self-Care: How climate researchers are coping with the U.N. report, Eric Holthaus

Sea-level rise and flooding is one thing, people get wet, immigrate, and create huge problems. Loss of biodiversity means the human species as a whole is threatened to disappear. No joke. This is not discussed enough in the media.” – Eric Rignot

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Health can not ever be a “right”

Health is not dealt with an even hand to all players in the game of life. Some are born with pre-existing conditions and some develop chronic conditions  later which are through no specific fault of the patient. Chronic issues can be due to underlying metabolic differences or other genetic differences that interact poorly with environmental toxins or with an infection that occurred at just the wrong stage of development for the fetus, infant or child.

Those dealt a fuller hand of health at birth, might not ever go on to develop a chronic illness unless they fail to live a healthy lifestyle, or they are exposed to increased toxins or an infection of some disabling sort.

The idea that health care is a human right is a nice idea that many nations do support with some form of national health care.  However the individual may still have started with more  or less “health” than average and may need more or less health care as a result. A national health care system based on for-profit high cost treatments that don’t really resolve underlying issues may be profitable for the health care system but could be a “right” to bankruptcy due to co-pays for the patient, and due to the total cost of care for the nation as a whole.

Health is cheaper and generally a lot more comfortable than illness. A system that focused more on individualized preventative care could catch underlying differences that leave some people more susceptible to developing chronic illness and provide guidance and any special supplements that might be needed to the person, before the person develops the chronic disease. Many chronic conditions are easier to prevent than to treat, sometimes a “cure” is not possible if lasting damage to an organ system occurred and ongoing management is then needed which might require medications or ongoing treatments of some (expensive) sort. If more people were able to prevent the expensive chronic illness from developing than they are less at risk for personal bankruptcy and the system as a whole would also be more stable. Insurance is based on the gamble that more people will be paying a basic fee each year that they don’t end up needing to use, while others end up using more dollars worth of health care than they paid into the system. Too many sick people using up more dollars than they paid means the insurance company can’t cover the total expense out of the fees – so then they increase the fees – which ups the risk of bankruptcy for the nation or individuals with excess costs due to their health needs.

My work still needs to be worked into a peer-review format and submitted to academic journals for the peer-review process. While it could help individuals who choose to read and think for themselves it can’t officially be recommended by health professionals until evidence based research supports the information. Those who look may see that I discuss topics and put things together differently than current standard knowledge – that doesn’t mean I’m wrong just because the standard says something different – look at the health statistics and ask yourself if the standard is providing health at a cost effective manner to most people?

No – the Social Progress Index suggests that some in the U.S. get excellent care but that most on average are getting results close to that of third world nations.  That’s where more research truly is needed – while it would be difficult to write a research study for individualized care compared to writing one for one specific medication it would still be possible. The study would need to measure something more like total sick days versus well days for the study group receiving individual guidance versus the control group receiving the guidance that would be provided by the current standard of care. Or total number of deaths within the many year time frame – this would have to be a large study that lasted many years to check long term effectiveness, however the short term sick day versus well day, or some other short term weight loss or blood pressure type measurements could be included to check whether individualized guidance was more effective at promoting general wellness than the current standard of care.

However, research on preventative health guidance, individualized somewhat for each person’s particular issues and skillset, has been found to be very cost effective at saving Medicaid spending. The supplemental nutrition, health screening and education program, WIC, has been found to save more in Medicaid spending than the WIC program costs. And my own experience professionally working with thousands of infants, children and women makes me very confident that my particular research findings and education methods can be very effective for individuals who listen and try the advice. It is that confidence that has kept me working towards sharing the information in a format that can be easy to use and  are safe grocery store type recommendations – for the most part. Sometimes supplements are needed for some conditions or special health issues.

I will also try to work with the health insurance system to pitch preventative health care services as being more economic for the insurance company – profit makes the capitalist world go round – and they are already encouraging the use of preventative care – they just don’t realize the current system isn’t really providing it. Until a lab test shows that you are “sick” enough for a diagnosis and medication, then you are likely to not get much further guidance about preventative health care beyond standard non-individualized recommendations.

The problem with “evidence-based recommendations” however, is that they are based on a research premise that any result better than placebo effect (~40%) is significant and the recommendation can then be made for 100% of the people. That leaves potentially 60% of the people receiving a medication that may not help them and may actually hurt them.

Individualized care is needed for all the people with conditions that occur in less than 40% of a research group. Some diseases and conditions are varied enough that all the patients need more individualized care – autism spectrum disorder includes many variations in symptoms with some common themes. It is recommended to treat each patient on the autism spectrum as an individual patient rather than trying to apply a “standard” care plan. Standardized care plans are only helpful for conditions that are fairly consistent for most patients with the condition – and as a baseline to start from for individualizing with further detail or modifications to the standard care plan.

  • Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes. 

Closed big box stores could be re-purposed as community health and recreation centers

Empty store buildings the size of warehouses are becoming more common in the U.S. and in other countries. Often a large chain store location is closed and left empty instead of being refurbished. The chains open newer larger buildings within the same community and move out of the old building. The empty buildings can become a tax liability for the community by reduced tax revenue as the chain store may have placed restrictions on who the property may be rented or sold to in a way of reducing risk of competitive chains moving into the location. [Read more: Big-Box Blight: The Spread of Dark Stores]

The empty buildings can become a risk of vandalism as they stand empty for years. The warehouse size buildings are difficult to sell because of their large size often with larger parking lots. Some communities eventually raise funds to have the buildings removed so the property can be sold as an empty lot.

With community support such a large size building might be useful for indoor recreation and health centers. Space for children to play safely can be difficult to find especially for people with limited income. Educational activities as well as just for fun physical games could help the children and the caregivers. Such a center would be unlikely to add tax revenue but it might promote increased revenue through indirect means such as reduced health care costs, reduced vandalism and crime, and increased employee health and productivity.

Open play areas for children can be difficult to find for parents living in crowded conditions. Gymnasiums at schools are not very available for open play because of scheduled sporting events. Private gyms are designed for adult use and typically have a fee that is prohibitive for lower income adults or for many people who have car loans, house loans and credit card bills. An empty big box store would not have the same height of ceiling found in sporting arenas so a community health and recreation center would be unlikely to compete for the consumers who are already using the adult oriented centers. Some indoor malls promote their open areas for walking for health purposes. An empty big box store could be re-purposed to make room for walkers to be able to jog or play more active games like tag or possibly sports using a soft Nerf football or a soft disc Frisbee.

A community center would likely need financial support from a variety of community businesses and volunteer or government agencies in order to succeed over the long term. With the high cost of childcare many parents don’t have additional money for regular recreational classes or memberships. Child oriented activity centers tend to focus on special events like birthday parties for income or may have an indoor putt putt golf course for generating more revenue.

A community health center might encourage attendance at educational events by providing vouchers for recreational events to those attending the health oriented session.

A large open building might also be suitable for craft fairs or rummage sales or other special events. A building with an overly large parking lot might be re-purposed by building some open air areas for outdoor craft and produce markets.

Depending on the climate a large open building might be useful for a community or privately owned hydroponic garden business.

Re-purposing empty buildings can require communities to void clauses in a retailer’s lease that limit the owner’s ability to rent the property to other retailers – which is the easiest way to re-use warehouse size empty storefronts. The other way is to limit their existence in the first place by limiting how much land is zoned for large stores and placing limits on the size of stores that are allowed within smaller communities. Requiring new construction to be multi-story, mixed use buildings can make the property more versatile for a range of tenants over the years. Economic review committees can help prevent empty warehouse sized buildings from becoming a problem for community by examining whether there is a need for more retail space before approval is given for new construction – maybe the community already has an empty big box store that is waiting for a new tenant.